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Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 Mar;9(3):193-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.13. Epub 2014 Feb 23.

Biosynthesis of magnetic nanostructures in a foreign organism by transfer of bacterial magnetosome gene clusters.

Author information

1
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Department of Biology I, Großhaderner Straße 2-4, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.
2
1] Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Department of Biology I, Großhaderner Straße 2-4, 82152 Martinsried, Germany [2] Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Department of Molecular Structural Biology, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.
3
1] Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Department of Biology I, Großhaderner Straße 2-4, 82152 Martinsried, Germany [2].
4
1] Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Saarland University, PO Box 151150, 66041 Saarbrücken, Germany [2] Shandong University - Helmholtz Joint Institute of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Life Science College, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.
5
University of Pannonia, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Veszprém, H-8200 Hungary.
6
1] Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Department of Molecular Structural Biology, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany [2] Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research, Utrecht University, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.
7
Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Saarland University, PO Box 151150, 66041 Saarbrücken, Germany.
8
Shandong University - Helmholtz Joint Institute of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Life Science College, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.

Abstract

The synthetic production of monodisperse single magnetic domain nanoparticles at ambient temperature is challenging. In nature, magnetosomes--membrane-bound magnetic nanocrystals with unprecedented magnetic properties--can be biomineralized by magnetotactic bacteria. However, these microbes are difficult to handle. Expression of the underlying biosynthetic pathway from these fastidious microorganisms within other organisms could therefore greatly expand their nanotechnological and biomedical applications. So far, this has been hindered by the structural and genetic complexity of the magnetosome organelle and insufficient knowledge of the biosynthetic functions involved. Here, we show that the ability to biomineralize highly ordered magnetic nanostructures can be transferred to a foreign recipient. Expression of a minimal set of genes from the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense resulted in magnetosome biosynthesis within the photosynthetic model organism Rhodospirillum rubrum. Our findings will enable the sustainable production of tailored magnetic nanostructures in biotechnologically relevant hosts and represent a step towards the endogenous magnetization of various organisms by synthetic biology.

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PMID:
24561353
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2014.13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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